Retail WiFi: Engage Customers Like Never Before

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At the end of this blog, we answer the following frequently asked questions in addition to other topics:

Q1. What is WiFi?

Q2. What is WiFi 6?

Today’s consumers are increasingly getting smarter, aware and better informed. Technology aids them in their quest for information. They are actively experimenting with technology to gain information on their smartphones, laptops and other personal smart devices. To connect to these devices ubiquitous data accessibility, consumers are increasingly relying on smart networks like WiFi which is anytime everywhere available.

WiFi is almost getting omnipresent and it is available ubiquitously, whether it is in an office, home environment or inside a shopping mall or a coffee house. The National Retail Federation expects that in 2015, shoppers worldwide will use their mobile phones to purchase $120 billion in goods and services.

What Can be said about Cellular and WiFi Connectivity in Retail Stores?

Today, in-store shoppers are increasingly using WiFi access to get online, search for their favourite products, opt for promotional offers and even finalize their purchases before stepping inside the stores. Secondly, the cellular signal strength availability is low in retail stores, which also plays an important role in WiFi taking the centre stage in the retail sector. As being put by many experts in the industry, smartphones and tablets, when connected with WiFi are becoming Pandora box of information, delivering the right content, in the right manner and at the right place.

What Would the Availability of WiFi in Retail Store Look Like?

WiFi driven connectivity inside retail ecosystems, end users can get critical insights like product information; plan their purchases, ongoing promotional offers, check item specifications, compare prices and read products reviews etc. that can help them to finalize their purchases. With the shopper’s downloaded applications over WiFi, the retailer can better engage the shopper and more favourably influence the decision-making process through advertisements, web interactions etc.

Shoppers also look forward to sharing their in-store experiences with family and friends among the social media platforms with the help of sending, sharing and posting status updates while moving inside some of their favourite stores. With such a WiFi driven customer engaging solution in place, retailers will have a big chance to succeed ahead and better focus on creating effective product and solution marketing campaigns which will further improve upon their business performance metrics as well.

All this WiFi driven connectivity is ideally poised to drive productivity and profitability of retailers to the next level and service providers can help retailers to realize the full potential of WiFi by creating an innovative partnership with retailers and enable them towards transforming their customers’ in-store experience and generate new monetization opportunities for Service Providers.

WiFi offers a great opportunity to build stronger customer relationships and drive sales for the retailer. It enables the consumer to stay connected and provides the extraordinary potential to retailers to engage with the customers with its brand offering thus, creating a win-win situation for both. WiFi in-store can be beneficial for both retailers and consumers thus helping them with improvised footfalls, better analytics, personalized opportunities, and a richer multi-channel experience.

What Are the Benefits of In-store WiFi to Retailers and Customers?


In-Store WiFi Opportunities for Retailers



A Better Shopping Experience for Consumers


Know and analyze their consumers’ shopping patterns

Enables them to compare prices and deals

Access their last purchase records and plan their brand positioning and offerings accordingly

Search for more information about the product like quality, review ratings, etc.

Mobile App for Location-based advertisements and personalized offers

Location-based advertisements and promotional offers

Guide and offer in-store product location

 

Mobile payment and e-wallets for payment options thus avoid long checkout queues

Engage with their audience efficiently and enhance Customer Relationship Management

Access to loyalty programs via mobile apps

 

Consumer Interaction and Business Analytics

Stay connected and enjoy ubiquitous connectivity

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is WiFi?

Put simply, Wifi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a Wifi hotspot that people in its vicinity may avail to get access to internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a Wifi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, Wifi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN, that allows for devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since Wifi signals need to carry significantly greater amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

Q2. What is WiFi 6?

WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity and is also a common name for Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). WiFi 6 is the newest and fastest version of the WiFi 802.11 wireless local area network specification standard. IEEE 802.11ax or commonly marketed as WiFi 6 by the industry body WiFi-Alliance is a major advancement over its previous generation that offers multiple devices to run concurrently on one network without compromising on the data speeds and response times.

The 802.11ax standard was approved by the IEEE on 9th February 2021 is designed to operate between 1 and 7.125 GHz, including the widely used 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. To better understand, WiFi or Wireless Fidelity devices usually translate radio waves into binary code using a technique called QAM ie Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. The older generations of WiFi are capable of 256 QAM ie it could send 8 bits of binary data in a single transmission whereas WiFi 6 is capable of 1024 QAM ie 10 bits of binary data in a single transmission.

This significant increase helps WiFi 6 devices to provide 30% faster speeds than its predecessors. The previous WiFi standards like 802.11/a/g/n/ac used OFDM which meant all of the subcarriers or tones were allocated to a single device at any instance of time. WiFi 5 introduced Multi-user MIMO enabling multiple users on the wireless medium at the same time thereby adding multiple users across different streams with each device using all of the subcarriers.

With WiFi 6, OFDMA can now portion up the individual sub-carriers or tones and these can be allocated to a number of devices. Apart from greater bandwidths, higher data speeds snd lower latencies, WiFi 6 also offers better spectrum utilisation using orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), Multi-user MIMO support, better power consumption and enhanced security protocols.

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